I've waxed long and lyrical over my love for kebabs (not the mystery meat kind) and so I was more than happy to oblige when posh kebaberie Chifafa on Clerkenwell Road got in touch and asked me to give theirs a try.
The Clerkenwell / Farringdon area is awash with amazing food choices, but its testament to Chifafa's offering that they were completely rammed at a weekday lunchtime when I went. Its a teeny little place with the option to take away, or eat in perching at a table or bar stool and many many people were taking them up on both. Their concept is to give the kebab a much-needed makeover and with ethically sourced, 100% traceable meat including one day marinated British veal (British = cruelty free) and slow cooked shoulder of lamb with no dodgy doner in sight, they are certainly giving it a good go. There's a strong emphasis on health, with actually exciting salads and healthy puddings aside from the valiant work they are doing with the kebabs.
All the grilling is done freshly over a Big Green Egg BBQ and proper Greek fluffy pittas are then stuffed full of your chosen filling, with zingy fresh salads and seasoning to match your selection.
A long term devotee of a lamb kebab, I surprised myself by opting for the one day marinated veal and pimping it with some extra halloumi (as recommended by the lovely Kerry). She was right and it was an absolute winner:
The quality of the meat was clear, and it had all been seasoned really well. My only criticism is that the hot sauce (there are three levels to choose from and I went for the hottest) was simply not hot. Or perhaps there wasn't enough of it, but hey I'm not complaining when meat this good is around - you barely need anything. It also allowed the za'atar on the halloumi to come out a little more, and for za'atar obsessives like me, this is ideal.
The hummus is worth a proper look, together with the little flatbreads. You can tell that everything that comes over the counter has been considered and its nice that they don't just season every dish with the same herbs and spices (sumac, pink peppercorns, za'atar, tahini etc are all used thoughtfully).
Excitingly, there is also a BREAKFAST KEBAB and if that's not worthy of an award at next year's National Kebab Awards - yes, they are very much a thing - then I don't know what is. Dry cured bacon, free range egg, feta, tomatoes, parsley and spicy tomato sauce all wrapped in a warm souvlaki bread? Oh behave.
I was a guest of the restaurant, but would have been more than happy to pay their very reasonable prices: it's between around £5-£9 for a large kebab, depending on which you go for.
Thank you Chifafa for a Kebab Made VERY Good.